Case Study: Millbrook School

Just a few years ago, Wendy Greenfield, school store manager at Millbrook School, was struggling to balance the ordering and inventory of textbooks for the entire student body along with her many other duties. After partnering with MBS Direct, she discovered how easy ordering could be by simply placing the process in the hands of the students through the MBS Direct Online Bookstore. Find out all the ways that the transition has since benefitted her school:

Millbrook School Streamlines Ordering with MBS Direct Online Bookstore

A weighty issue

Boarding school students face a unique challenge when it comes to buying textbooks. It would be inconvenient for them to order their books from home, have them delivered there and then transport them to school.

Rather than burden students with this issue, Millbrook, a college preparatory school located in New York, had always ordered the textbooks for their students and then determined billing later. In addition to the amount of work involved, the school was purchasing all of the textbooks outright, and planning to be reimbursed once the students picked up their books. According to Greenfield, "It was not a good use of our financial resources, not to mention the time we had to devote to the whole process."

Exploring other ordering options

The staff at Millbrook realized that they needed to find another way. They tried a local supplier first.

"We just weren't happy with the level of service they provided. There were some backordering issues and other problems," Greenfield said.

CFO Bob Connolly was familiar with MBS Direct from his time at another school. When it quickly became clear that the first arrangement wasn't going to work, he reached out in April of 2012.

According to Greenfield, feedback from faculty and students has been positive ever since.

"We're beginning our third year now and we're really pleased. The customer service they provide is amazing."

Beyond service, the school has also benefitted from a better use of their resources. Because they are no longer purchasing the required course materials out of an annual budget, that money can be allocated for other purposes. And the convenience of being able to order books for the next term from wherever they live is a big benefit for Millbrook's students.

"It's wonderfully convenient for the families; they just go online and order," Greenfield said.

Better fulfillment with bin-and-hold

Because the school has international students, their arrival time on campus can vary. MBS Direct's Bin-and-hold option allows the school to gradually order titles and wait to ship them all together, at their discretion. This frees up valuable space in the school, instead of having it filled with partial orders.

"We also use bin-and-hold, so we can add on to our order as we adopt titles. All of the books we order arrive on time to the school. It's worked out really well."

Flexible shipping periods also allow for more specific class materials, like those required for electives, to be ordered.

"We have two weeks of free shipping and we're able to stagger it to accommodate students with scheduling conflicts, who have to order later."

Ordering is quick and easy

Staff members aren't the only ones who have enjoyed the new partnership, however. Millbrook students have found ordering through the MBS Direct Online Bookstore to be remarkably easy and fast.

"Occasionally we'll have a student lose a book. We don't have it immediately on hand, but they go online, order it and 1-2-3, it's here. It's really easy, just a couple of steps and it's taken care of," Greenfield explained.

She is very enthusiastic about the process, and especially happy with the level of service she's encountered.

"Overall, we're very pleased. Everyone we've worked with at MBS has been wonderful. We're very happy with the service from our Representatives."

About Millbrook School:

  • Full time students: 280
  • Approximately 80% of students board
  • Offers staggered periods of shipping promotions to accommodate scheduling conflicts
  • Streamlined order fulfillment with MBS Direct partnership
  • Simplified student ordering with MBS Direct Online Bookstore

MBS Direct Online Bookstore:

  • Allow online ordering anytime, anywhere
  • Reduce course material costs for students
  • Streamline faculty adoptions
  • 24/7 customer service for your students
  • Easy management

MBS Direct Fulfillment:

  • Automated fulfillment so students get the right book on time, every time
  • Order titles as they are adopted and choose when to ship with bin-and-hold
  • Free up physical space and still receive books on time
  • 99.9% order accuracy